Hidden away in his workshop, an animator leans over what appears to be a human body and begins to perform an autopsy. Who is this lifeless being stretched out before him? As he dissects the plasteline figure, the spirit of scientific inquiry gives way to the madness of artistic inspiration, and the animator’s tools go to work. Slicing into the skin, separating the tissues, probing the entrails, the artist lets loose his creative imagination as entire worlds take shape before his eyes, sweeping him into the enormity of the inner spaces to be explored. What will he find there? What does an animator stand to discover through an autopsy of a body he himself created? In this story-within-a-story about the art of creation, director Patrick Bouchard pays homage to the animator’s vocation—namely, breathing life into the inanimate. The Subject takes us to the conceptual limits of animation, examining the connections between life and death, body and psyche, individual and community, real and imaginary, as it delves into the invisible worlds within.
The Subject, Patrick Bouchard, provided by the National Film Board of Canada